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Contact Data: More is Better for Emergency Communications

In the first moments of a crisis, timely communication can save lives, resources, and reputation. Unfortunately, it is often during these very moments that critical lines of communication are cut off, making contact more difficult than ever.

Multi-modal communication increases the chance that crucial information will reach people quickly during an emergency. If a mail server is down, or a network is overwhelmed, alternate points of contact are critical. While many organizations have an emergency notification system in place as a part of their business continuity plan, they often fail to recognize the importance of maintaining multiple points of contact for each of their employees (e.g. home phones numbers, mobile phone numbers, alternate email addresses, family-member contacts, etc.).

When organizations collect contact information from their employees, they must consider the various emergency situations they might face. If an incident occurs after office hours, access to employee home or personal contact information is critical. If employees routinely work out in the field, organizations must be able to quickly reach them through e-mail, voice, or text communications. And, if employees are glued to computer monitors or taking support calls (or just listening to music with their ear buds in), companies need the ability to send a popup alert to desktop monitors. Real-life crisis situations have generally proven that at least one communication modality will work during a given event. However, until a crisis strikes, it’s impossible to know which communication paths will or won’t be available.

Make sure your organization is prepared in advance by populating your employee database with as much personal data as possible (giving proper consideration to practical and privacy constraints, of course). Keep in mind that redundancy and multi-modality can save lives. And, remember to utilize the built-in features within the Send Word Now mass notification platform to keep contact records fresh.

With minimal effort, you can manage multiple points of contact and maintain the ability to seamlessly shift from one modality to another during an event. This flexibility will improve your communication efforts and can ultimately reduce both liability and potential harm to employees and customers.